Throughout the week we will be introducing you to the individuals helping brew Braxton’s beer. Each day, we will introduce one team member and prompt them with the same discussion topics. We hope you enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at our team! Today, we introduce Mike Roszkowski, or as the team refers to him, the Hop Whisperer…
I chose Braxton because of the amazing people involved. Great team with a great plan…and it involves beer, of course.
When did you fall in love with craft beer?
I really didn’t enjoy beer until I was introduced to something other than the ubiquitous American Light Lager. The spark was ignited in 1997 with a Redhook Double Black Stout–a beer unlike any other I’d tried. The next decade was spent as a closet beer snob. Getting involved with homebrewing and beer judging added fuel to the fire and helped me fall in love with the community of craft beer enthusiasts. I love talking beer…I couldn’t imagine how boring that would be without the growth of craft beer in the marketplace.
What’s your previous experience?
I’ve loved playing with recipes since my mom first taught me to cook. I realized My creative playground grew considerably once I was introduced to homebrewing (Thanks Tim!). I brewed a couple of years before Jon Covey (NKY Homebrewer’s Guild) convinced me to enter a beer competition. Unbeknownst to everyone, my competitiveness also found a new outlet. Since then, I’ve picked up hundreds of medals in homebrew competitions. I’ve also been a BJCP Certified beer judge for a couple of years now. The next step, now that I’ve got the judging points and the tasting score, is to sit for the written exam so I can, hopefully, rank up to National.
What’s your favorite style of craft beer?
Impossible! This is like asking which of my kids is my favorite… I really enjoy drinking finely aged big beers like Barleywines and Imperial Stouts.
What is your favorite craft beer?
Once again…too many to choose from. I’m a huge fan of the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout series. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Three Floyd’s “Alpha King.”
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Gustatus Similis Pullus”
What are some of your hobbies other than brewing?
Hunting, mountaineering, soccer, playing music.
What part of Braxton are you most looking forward to?
I love creativity. I love making things better. My role with Braxton will allow me to combine many of my favorite things!
Do you have a fun fact or story you could share with everyone?
Make sure you ask Evan about his stint as my security detail…